A grieving mum has vowed to keep fighting for justice after her pregnant daughter was killed by a train at a level crossing in Australia.
Gwen Bates, who is taking legal action against authorities and individuals in Australia where daughter Kay Stanley died, has also revealed that she suffered a stroke as a Sheffield inquest into Kay’s death was due to conclude.
The hearing last month found Kay, a former actress who had toured with The Tweenies and took part in educational theatre shows about rail safety, may not have died if boom barriers had been installed at the crossing.
Delays meant construction of the barriers was suspended, and they were eventually put in place at Tyabb, Victoria, in 2008 – two weeks after the kindergarten teacher’s car was struck by the locomotive and pushed 170m along the tracks.
Ms Bates, who is now recovering at home in Greasborough, Rotherham, told The Star: “I am never going to give up because there are too many deaths on level crossings in Australia and the one where I lost Kay should have been upgraded 20 months before she died.
“With any compensation that comes as a result of the legal action I would set up a foundation in Kay’s name to teach rail safety to children.”
Kay was born in Sheffield and schooled in Rotherham but moved to Australia in 2004.
She was 10 weeks pregnant thanks to IVF treatment, and due to be married, when she died.
Ms Bates – who was the sole witness at the Sheffield inquest – woke up on the day the hearing concluded feeling unwell and doctors found she had suffered a stroke.
The inquest was adjourned and its conclusion was read to her in Rotherham Hospital.
The narrative verdict found Kay had not seen level crossing warning lights or bells.
Ms Bates, aged 64, said: “I just knew something was wrong when I woke up. I managed to switch the alarm clock off and fell out of bed.”
She said she wasn’t surprised she’d suffered a stroke because she was so stressed.
She said: “It wasn’t a major one – it won’t stop me.
“At least the UK inquest found it wasn’t Kay’s absolute fault.
“The coroner said if the barriers had been there she wouldn’t have gone through – I was happy with that.”